New York Times Shines Light on Downtown Wilmington Construction Projects

While Newsweek’s December article naming Wilmington “Murder Town, USA” left residents reeling, The New York Times has published an optimistic rejoinder highlighting the city’s influx of young professionals who want to live, eat and have fun in the same community as their workplace.

And there’s good news to go with that demand: Between this June and August 2016, about 380 units along or within a block of Market Street are slated for completion in a series of projects representing a total investment of $91 million, The New York Times reports.

Jeff Flynn, Wilmington’s director of economic development, said the story – and the construction – is a refreshing step in the right direction for the city. “I found it very hopeful.”

Apartment projects to watch:

—    The conversion of 627 North Market, a foSlide4rmer department store building vacant since 2011, to an apartment building set to open this June.

—     A 1930s building on Market, vacant since the Wilmington Savings Fund Society left in 2006, will become 38 one-bedroom apartments set to open in August.

—     One block west of Market Street, where a former parking garage has been razed, builders will erect a 231-unit apartment building. Construction is to start in April.

The city will have a groundbreaking event from 10-11 a.m. Feb. 15 at 838 Market Street, where the EastSide Charter School’s String Ensemble will provide live entertainment.

With these projects, Flynn said downtown Wilmington is seeing the largest number of residential units under construction since the 2008 recession.

The city has also worked to revive downtown business, including a $35,000 loan to La Fia on Market Street, which needed financing for furniture and signage to open in 2007. A $30,000 loan went to Ninth Street Bookshop so it could open two years ago.

The New York Times story mentioned other Market Street attractions, including the Grand Opera House and World Cafe Live, a renovated Colonial-era hotel that reopened as a rock-concert space in 2011.

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